Sustainable Intensification

RS2. Sustainable Intensification of Maize-based Farming Systems

This Research Strategy aims to develop and promote integrated and scalable innovations to improve market access and the productivity, sustainability, and resilience of maize farming.

Why Sustainable Intensification?

If new innovations are to be taken up by farmers, they must be tailored to their specific environment and context, and any constraints to uptake addressed. In recognition, MAIZE works with its partners in development to take a farming systems approach, looking at the broader environment influencing maize farming in a given area to understand how to make the greatest impact. A participatory research approach improves the capacities of partners and innovation hubs at all levels.

One approach is to improve the precision with which farmers practice agriculture. Due to the lack of information, many farmers make improper use of precious resources such as water, seed and fertilizer, or else avoid spending on these inputs that could improve their production. MAIZE and its partners work with local extension systems and increasingly with new ICT tools to create a culture of precision agriculture.

Other agronomic technologies with the potential to increase production and productivity include conservation agriculture or small-scale mechanization.

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